The Three Most Common Types Of Dementia And Their Differences
Dementia is a disease that affects millions of seniors in the US every year, causing irreversible loss of memory and functioning. Caregivers of loved ones suffering from dementia should know that there are several different types of the condition, each with its own unique symptoms, as well as some similarities across the board. It can be difficult to determine what type of dementia you or your loved one may be experiencing, and the only way to accurately diagnose any disease is to speak with your doctor.
The three most common types of dementia are:
- Alzheimers Disease
Read on to learn more about these types of dementia and their symptoms and treatment.
Senior Living Options For Seniors With Dementia
The initial stages of dementia are not usually debilitating, and it can be relatively easy to care for yourself at home and bring in a caregiver when you need more help. However, dementia eventually progresses into more serious symptoms like inability to eat and walk, and assisted living may then be a better option to help you enjoy life with Alzheimers disease and other dementias.
Assisted living facilities that specifically provide care for those with dementia are called memory care centers. Memory care facilities provide medical care for people with dementia and other services including:
- Daily care in areas such as grooming, bathing, dressing, and eating
- Healthy meals, often designed specifically to be dementia-friendly, including fruits and vegetables recommended by top researchers to help fight cognitive decline
- Access to a wide variety of social activities, recreational activities, and specially designed areas to help people suffering from memory loss continue to engage in their lifelong passions like gardening, church, visiting local attractions, art, and more
- Housekeeping services
- 24-hour monitoring and a secured building to prevent wandering and other dangers
If youre ready to learn more about assisted living options for those living with a diagnosis of dementia, please reach out for information from our senior care experts here.
Firstly What Is Dementia
In basic terms, when you develop dementia, your brains function is likely to decline quite substantially over time. There are various types of dementia, and people often get confused as to which type they are suffering from. People are often surprised to hear that Alzheimers disease is in fact one of a range of dementias although, along with vascular dementia, it accounts for the majority of cases.
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What Are The Most Common Types Of Dementia
- Alzheimers disease. This is the most common cause of dementia, accounting for 60 to 80 percent of cases. It is caused by specific changes in the brain. The trademark symptom is trouble remembering recent events, such as a conversation that occurred minutes or hours ago, while difficulty remembering more distant memories occurs later in the disease. Other concerns like difficulty with walking or talking or personality changes also come later. Family history is the most important risk factor. Having a first-degree relative with Alzheimers disease increases the risk of developing it by 10 to 30 percent.
- Vascular dementia. About 10 percent of dementia cases are linked to strokes or other issues with blood flow to the brain. Diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol are also risk factors. Symptoms vary depending on the area and size of the brain impacted. The disease progresses in a step-wise fashion, meaning symptoms will suddenly get worse as the individual gets more strokes or mini-strokes.
- Lewy body dementia. In addition to more typical symptoms like memory loss, people with this form of dementia may have movement or balance problems like stiffness or trembling. Many people also experience changes in alertness including daytime sleepiness, confusion or staring spells. They may also have trouble sleeping at night or may experience visual hallucinations .
Stage : Mild Dementia
At this stage, individuals may start to become socially withdrawn and show changes in personality and mood. Denial of symptoms as a defense mechanism is commonly seen in stage 4. Behaviors to look for include:
- Difficulty remembering things about one’s personal history
- Difficulty recognizing faces and people
In stage 4 dementia, individuals have no trouble recognizing familiar faces or traveling to familiar locations. However, patients in this stage will often avoid challenging situations in order to hide symptoms or prevent stress or anxiety.
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Dementia: What Are The Main Types
While ageing, the brain encounters significant modifications. For example, from the age of 60, it slowly starts to shrink. Heart diseases and head traumas can also have an important effect on the brain, sometimes causing dementia. A persons family history also influences the occurrence of this kind of syndrome.
Dementia is a significant sign of progressive neurodegeneration. This causes the death of some brain cells as well as tissue loss. The most frequently affected areas are the memory, the thinking, the behaviour and the ability to do some tasks for the sick person.
Continue below to learn what are the five different types of dementia.
Types Of Dementia: The 10 Different Types Of Dementia
Learn about different types of dementia with Seniorly. Recognize signs and symptoms of 10 common types of dementia, and explore treatment option
With over 100 different types of dementia in existence today, it can be difficult to tell them apart. We created this guide to educate you on the most common types of dementia and their symptoms. Each different form of dementia has its own set of recommended treatment options such as memory care and medication that may help with managing the disease.
Here are among the ten most common different types of dementia:
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What Is The Second Most Common Type Of Dementia
Alzheimers disease is by far the most common type of dementia.
However, a few other types of dementia in the elderly that are also common include:
- Lewy Body syndrome
Individuals with Lewy Body dementia are also known to experience hallucinations and delusions.
What Signals Huntingtons Disease Onset?
Another common dementia is Huntingtons disease.
Huntingtons Disease dementia is genetic and is caused by a defective gene on Chromosome 23. Since its genetic, individuals with parents who have Huntingtons disease are also likely to have it.
Huntingtons disease onset is usually visible around the age of 30-50 but can happen earlier or later. Its symptoms are heavily related to uncontrollable body movements and changes in mood, like depression and anxiety.
Is Vascular Dementia Linked to Lewy Body Dementia and Alzheimers?
Experts have found that the vascular brain changes associated with vascular dementia coexist with Lewy Body dementia and Alzheimers.
With vascular dementia, blood flow is reduced in or blocked from certain areas of the brain, depriving brain cells of oxygen. This lack of oxygen leads to brain cell death and a decline in the affected individuals mental and physical condition.
Different Types Of Dementia
Dementia is a word used to describe a group of symptoms that occur when brain cells stop working properly. There are a number of diseases that cause dementia.
Alzheimers disease is the most common cause of dementia, but there are other types of dementia too. It is possible to have more than one type of dementia at the same time. Alzheimers is sometimes seen with vascular dementia or dementia with Lewy bodies. You might hear this called mixed dementia.
Page last reviewed: 05/07/2018
Although often thought of as a disease of older people, around 4% of people with Alzheimers are under 65. This is called early-onset or young-onset Alzheimers. It usually affects people in their 40s, 50s and early 60s.
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Help From The Ontario Government
Caring for someone with dementia can be difficult, but help is available. Each province in Canada offers different resources and programs for dementia patients and caregivers. Were going to look at the options available in Ontario, however if you live in a different province, similar options will likely be provided.
Dementia Is The Umbrella Term For A Number Of Neurological Conditions Of Which The Major Symptom Includes A Global Decline In Brain Function
It is a condition that has been noted in people for hundreds of years.
Dementia was a relatively rare occurrence before the 20th century as fewer people lived to old age in pre-industrial society. It was not until the mid 1970s that dementia begun to be described as we know it today.
We now know dementia is a disease symptom, and not a normal part of ageing.
There are over 100 diseases that may cause dementia. The most common causes of dementia include Alzheimers disease, vascular dementia and dementia with Lewy bodies.
Although the risk of getting dementia increase as we age, people in their 40s and 50s can also have dementia. The term younger onset dementia is used to describe any form of dementia diagnosed in people under the age of 65. To find out more go to the younger onset dementia hub.
Visit the pages below to learn more about the causes of dementia:
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Stimulating Exercises For People With Dementia
Dementia is a progressive disease, meaning symptoms get worse over time. The progression of dementia is different for every individual for some people, it progresses rapidly, whereas for others, it may progress over the span of several years. However, research shows that cognitive stimulation helps reduce decline in cognitive function for individuals with mild to moderate dementia.
Here are 10 stimulating exercises for people with dementia:
1. Create a Memory Box
Since most forms of dementia affect an individuals memory, looking through a memory box with pictures of their loved ones and happy moments can be a great reminiscent activity. The memory box can consist of anything, not just pictures. It promotes engagement opportunities for patients living with dementia, as well as for their loved ones and caregivers.
2.Cook Simple Recipes
The process of cooking and baking requires motor skills, thinking, and short-term memory. Also, the smell or taste of their favourite childhood recipe allows the individual to have a reminiscent experience while cooking. Cooking healthy recipes helps improve general health, and is also beneficial for brain health.
3.Listen and Dance to Music
Similar to the memory box, listening to music that the individual enjoys can provide comfort and feelings of nostalgia. A bonus benefit of this activity is that it encourages dancing, a physical activity that helps keep you in healthy shape!
4 .Work on a Picture Puzzle
5. Household Chores
8. Read a Book
Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy/brain Injury
Initial symptoms: Symptoms of brain injury include loss of consciousness, memory loss, personality and behavior changes, and slow, slurred speech.
Progression: While symptoms from a single concussion are often temporary and resolve with appropriate treatment, chronic traumatic encephalopathy typically develops over time from repeated head injuries and is generally not reversible. Later symptoms include poor decision-making ability, aggression, impaired motor function and inability to communicate effectively.
Prognosis: Life expectancy varies according to the severity of injuries.
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Rarer Causes Of Dementia
There are many rarer diseases and conditions that can lead to dementia, or dementia-like symptoms.
These conditions account for only 5% of dementia cases in the UK.
- problems with planning and reasoning
These symptoms are not severe enough to cause problems in everyday life.
If the underlying illness is treated or managed, symptoms of MCI often disappear and cause no further problems.
But in some cases, people with MCI are at increased risk of going on to develop dementia, which is usually caused by Alzheimer’s disease.
Read more about how to prevent dementia.
What Types Of Dementia Symptoms Are Most Common
Dementia is a progressive disease, meaning that its symptoms worsen over time. The most common sign of dementia is short-term memory loss, which leads to difficulty remembering:
- Where they place items
In the early stages of most dementias, symptoms arent severe and the individual can still function independently. Family members often have a relatively easy time caring for their loved ones with dementia at this point.
However, as dementia progresses, it can affect the individuals physical abilities, mood, and behavior. Eventually, most people with dementia need around-the-clock care as they lose their ability to dress, eat, and move around independently.
In this late stage of dementia, family members often require professional caregivers to provide care for their loved ones.
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What Is The Most Common Form Of Dementia
The most common type of permanent dementia isAlzheimers disease, accounting for 60-80% of all dementia cases. Experts still arent sure what causes Alzheimers exactly, and theres also currently no cure.
With Alzheimers, changes in the brain begin by affecting a persons short-term memory. As a result, they have trouble remembering new information, like names and places. But like other forms of dementia, Alzheimers is a progressive disease, and its symptoms worsen over time.
The Risk Factors To Developing Dementia
Many factors may contribute to dementia, and some factorssuch as age and family historycant be changed.
But as many people discovered during the pandemic, there are things you can do to reduce unnecessary risks to your health.
For example, common causes of dementia can be lessened with improvements in diet and exercise, reducing alcohol use, stopping smoking, and addressing late-stage depression issues or any sleeping hindrances.
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Less Common Types Of Dementia
Though they are much more rare, there are other types of dementia. 5% of all dementia cases in the UK are caused by rarer forms of dementia. It is thought that most forms of rare dementia are under-diagnosed in part because people do not know to look out for them. Some rarer forms of dementia have very specific symptoms that differ from other types of dementia.
Below you can find out more about rare types of dementia:
Understanding Different Types Of Dementia
As we age, its normal to lose some neurons in the brain. People living with dementia, however, experience far greater loss. Many neurons stop working, lose connections with other brain cells, and eventually die. At first, symptoms can be mild, but they get worse over time.
Read on to learn more about four different types of dementia.
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What Causes Memory Loss
Dementia is not an illness, but a term that covers a variety of symptoms caused by changes in the brain. These symptoms include memory loss, confusion, and even movement issues.
If you notice a loved one experiencing memory loss, and this is their only symptom, its important to take them to the doctor for evaluation. It could be something as simple as a medication adjustment or vitamin deficiency that can be corrected.
However, it could also be an early sign of dementia. While occasionally forgetting where we placed our keys or having trouble finding the right word is human, if you notice a loved ones consistent forgetfulness or increasing confusion, it could be more.
How Is Dementia Treated
Treatment of dementia depends on the underlying cause. Neurodegenerative dementias, like Alzheimers disease, have no cure, though there are medications that can help protect the brain or manage symptoms such as anxiety or behavior changes. Research to develop more treatment options is ongoing.
Leading a healthy lifestyle, including regular exercise, healthy eating, and maintaining social contacts, decreases chances of developing chronic diseases and may reduce number of people with dementia.
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What To Do If A Loved One Is Suspicious Of Having Dementia
- Discuss with loved one. Talk about seeing a medical provider about the observed changes soon. Talk about the issue of driving and always carrying an ID.
- Medical assessment. Be with a provider that you are comfortable with. Ask about the Medicare Annual Wellness exam.
- Family Meeting. Start planning, and gather documents like the Health Care Directive, Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care, Estate Plan.
Top Five Early Signs Of Dementia
While symptoms will vary depending on the person and the cause of their dementia, watch for these five early symptoms in a loved one:
Since some causes of dementia, such as medication side effects, can be resolved, most types are progressive and incurable.
As a result, its important to get your loved one to the doctor as soon as possible to determine the cause and receive treatment.
Even if your loved one is diagnosed with Alzheimers or Lewy body dementia, treatments are available to potentially preserve quality of life for as long as possible.
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Stage : Age Associated Memory Impairment
This stage features occasional lapses of memory most frequently seen in:
- Forgetting where one has placed an object
- Forgetting names that were once very familiar
Oftentimes, this mild decline in memory is merely normal age-related cognitive decline, but it can also be one of the earliest signs of degenerative dementia. At this stage, signs are still virtually undetectable through clinical testing. Concern for early onset of dementia should arise with respect to other symptoms.
Symptoms Of Dementia With Lewy Bodies
Diagnosing any type of dementia is difficult, but there are many cornerstone symptoms that help achieve an accurate diagnosis. In Lewy body dementia, the most prevalent symptoms include:
- Disrupted sleep- often this is the first sign to look out for further symptoms in years to come. Affected individuals will physically act out dreams, moving while sleeping and sometimes hitting their partners in their sleep.
- Difficulty with problem-solving abilities such as putting together a puzzle
- Lowered inhibitions
- Visual hallucinations and sensory disturbances
- Tremors and Parkinsonism often occurs last in LBD, which includes loss of balance
- Blood pressure can drop with LBD, causing fainting spells
- Bladder issues and incontinence
To diagnose someone with Lewy body dementia based on symptoms alone, at least two of these symptoms must be present, including dementia. New research has provided insight into brain scans to more accurately diagnose LBD and other brain disorders in a clinic.
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